There is a common saying in the Midwest that says if you don’t like the weather, stick around for a few minutes, and it will change. This is particularly true in the “Corn Patch” known as Iowa. This was demonstrated at the 2nd Annual HD Equipment Dirty Business Truck Show held in Grand Mound, IA on June 25-26, 2021. It is a show that Jay Hawthorne, owner of HD Equipment (and a truck he calls Dirty Business), and Guthrie Waechter, Manager of HD Equipment, began in 2020. This year, they fine-tuned and tweaked it to make it an even better show in 2021.
The small town of Grand Mound is located in Clinton County about 20 miles north of Davenport, IA. Davenport is one of four cities that make up what is referred to as the Quad Cities of IA/IL. Many of our readers know the Corporate Headquarters of John Deere is located in the nearby Quad Cities, so the HD Equipment and C&J Trucking facilities are a perfect location for a truck show. And with nicely paved parking areas surrounding two nearly new buildings that house these businesses, there was plenty of space for the approximately 75 trucks that showed up this year.
Compared to the first show in 2020, the weather and Mother Nature were not as cooperative this year. To be fair, the 2020 show was held in late August, and this year’s event was held in late June. Up until about a week before the show, there were very dry conditions in that part of Iowa. That all changed truck show weekend, and it rained for the majority of the time. However, we did have a reprieve from the rain Thursday night and Friday in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, it rained most of the day on Saturday, forcing all the vendors (including us at 10-4) to move inside the HD Equipment building.
This two-day event is considered to be a casual, wash and shine type of show, where no trophies are awarded. It is a relaxed atmosphere with a gathering of family, customers, friends and business associates of HD Equipment and C&J Trucking for showing off their trucks, socializing, and having a good time. By Saturday, trucks were parked on all the lots surrounding both buildings. There were also travel trailers and motorhomes parked on the property for some of the attendees and participants.
Many of the trucks at this event were from the Midwest, but there were also trucks from as far away as Texas (Kaleb and Gaylon Hammett) and California (Ron Beer). It was a good cross-section of trucks featuring all makes, models, and vintages, which included new and highly customized trucks, classic trucks, unrestored trucks, bobtails, combos, and dump trucks. Along with all the cool trucks and trailers, we were treated to light shows on both Friday and Saturday night. These light displays are always a big treat, and it never ceases to amaze me at how bright these trucks can shine.
One of the key ingredients for a great show is having good food. This year, the Grand Mound Sportsmen’s Club fit that bill and provided excellent food. Offering a variety of sandwiches, chips, and soda pop (Midwesterners) or Coke (southerners), all the meat was grilled on location, and I made sure to personally sample the hamburgers and hot dogs – and both were very good. Another highlight of the Dirty Business Truck Show is the BBQ lunch/dinner that Jay and Guthrie put on. I was late to the table this year, but still sampled the smoked pulled pork, mac and cheese, and macaroni salad. They were all very excellent, and I admit I went back for a second helping of everything.
Along with great trucks and good food, making a show successful requires generous sponsors and engaged vendors. This year, the Dirty Business Truck Show had a long list of small, medium, and large business sponsors that covered a wide array of products and services. The sponsors who donated their time, money, products and services to this fun event included American Concrete Pumping, Bauer Built, Big Strappers Apparel, Brown Trucking, B&J Electric, C&J Trucking, Crystal Creek Ent., Dynaflex, Goettsch Trucking, Grask Truck Group, Hawk Valley Express, Hoker Trucking, J&L Contracting, K&K Tank Service, Lincoln Chrome, MHC Kenworth, Michelin, Mel Foster Co., PDI, Quad City Peterbilt, Renegade, RoadWorks, Roll On Customs, Rockwood, Schultz Trucking, Tarp Stop, Wendling Quarries, Weber’s Screenprinting, and Williams Construction Company.
Due to the rain Saturday afternoon, the raffle had to be conducted inside the HD Equipment building. The following vendors generously provided the various gift certificates and products for the raffle: Dynaflex Products, Renegade, Primrose Oil, Hogebuilt, Iowa Customs and RoadWorks. The fun ladies from Renegade made the occasion a lively and entertaining event while handing out many nice raffle items to the winners.
Once it got dark on Saturday, we were all treated to another fantastic and colorful fireworks show that rivaled many displays I’ve enjoyed on July 4th. It was a 30-minute display that awed and impressed everyone. Shortly after the fireworks, the band Jammer cranked up inside one of the buildings. A variety of classic rock, country, southern rock, and 80s music was played to the enjoyment of the attendees at the show. Many folks were having a few drinks, dancing, and singing along with the band. While I was visiting with some friends and listening to the music, I was kind of in a dancing mood, but thought better of it because I didn’t want to embarrass myself.
I had a peculiar situation happen at this event that has never happened to me at previous shows I’ve covered for 10-4 Magazine. Both this year and last, Jay was gracious enough to loan me his father’s golf cart for the duration of the event. When he gave it to me, he explained that Jack might need it at different times during the weekend. I agreed to that deal, and away I went. When the sun came out late on Friday afternoon, I took advantage and headed out in the cart to take photos. Parking the cart in a central location, I proceeded to walk around for about 15 minutes and take various pictures of trucks and such. When I returned to the location where I parked the cart, it was gone!
Jack’s golf cart is very nice, so I was worried that it was either lost or stolen. I literally walked all around the two buildings and parking lots not once, not twice, but three times and could not find this cart. At this point I’m thinking that Jay is going to throw me out of the show, I’m going to get arrested by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, and Dan Linss is going to fire me from 10-4 Magazine! I decided to make one more trip around the property before going to tell Jay the bad news, when I found Jack sitting in his cart, on the east end of the C&J building, laughing and joking with his buddies, and having a good time. I was so relieved I could have hugged them all – but I thought better of that.
Jay and Guthrie were the driving forces for planning, organizing, and making this truck show happen for a second year. They and their staff worked hard to put on another first-class truck show in Grand Mound, IA. The rain, sun, heat, humidity, wind, and mud provided unique challenges, but it did not damper the spirit of the participants and attendees. Rumor has it from a very good source that the third Dirty Business Truck Show will take place in 2022! I look forward to attending this show once again in that “Corn Patch” known as Iowa. I hope to see you there!